Midland Trail Initiative Joined
Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2013
BUCKINGHAM – During its April 15 meeting, the Buckingham County Board of Supervisors authorized a letter of interest on behalf of the county to participate in the Midland Trail Virginia Byway Initiative for U. S. Route 60.
Providing the board with information on the initiative, County Administrator Rebecca Carter offered, “The Midland Trail, also called the Roosevelt Midland Trail, was a national auto trail spanning the United States from Washington, D. C. west to Los Angeles, California and San Francisco.”
Noting that the trail was one of the first, if not the first, marked transcontinental auto trails in America, Carter said there is a concerted effort to have the Midland Trail of Virginia designated as a National Byway and an extension of the already designated Midland Trail National Byway of West Virginia.
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Carter offered that the designation would attract visitors, which in turn would help area businesses while fueling the local economy. <br />
“Each county would have an opportunity to designate certain stops along the Byway,” explained Carter.
According to information provided in the board packet, “Byways often encourage conforming small business development along the route, cooperative marketing initiatives, enhanced visitor services, historic site preservation, interpretation projects and other benefits to communities.”
The county administrator shared that if the board authorizes the letter of interest, she would begin participating with the committee to ensure that Buckingham County is earmarked along the Byway and work with the group to have Route 60 declared as a Virginia and National Byway.
She added that there is no request for monetary support but a letter of interest is requested. Carter noted, “Cumberland has adopted a resolution of support for this.”
Subsequently, Supervisor Bill Talbert moved and the board unanimously concurred to authorize the letter of interest.
The county administrator provided information to supervisors regarding a request from the Buckingham County Electoral Board to move the Central Absentee Precinct, CAP, to the basement conference room in the former county administration building.
In a letter to supervisors, Eric Winslow, secretary of the county's electoral board, explained that the CAP is used to facilitate the counting of absentee ballots on Election Day. .
According to Carter, the CAP is required to be in close proximity to the registrar's office, which is being relocated from the Housewright House to the County Administration Complex.
Carter explained that changing the location of a precinct requires a public hearing because the location must be designated in the Buckingham County Redistricting Ordinance.
Once the hearing is held, the change must be reviewed and approved by the United States Department of Justice, added Carter.
Subsequently, the board scheduled the hearing to coincide with its May 13 meeting at 7:15 p.m.
In the absence of a representative from VDOT, Supervisor Cassandra Stish asked Ronnie Palmore, transportation director for Buckingham County Public Schools, if VDOT had contacted him.
Palmore shared that he recently met for approximately three hours with VDOT's Kevin Wright, resident administrator, and Scot Shippee, assistant administrator.
Noting they shared a “lot of great information,” he stated, “So we are on the right track.”
During the board's March 11 meeting, in the aftermath of a school bus accident on Mountain View Road, Stish asked Wright if he and Shippee would work with Palmore to ascertain the ten or 12 most critical bus route issues in the county.
Responding to a written request from Craig E. Markcrow, President of Vermont Structural Slate Company, of Fair Haven, Vermont, supervisors agreed to waive the building permit fees for its new operation in Buckingham-the James River Slate Company, Incorporated.
In the letter, Markcrow shared that the new business should begin operation around June and would be employing from ten to 20 employees.
Markcrow wrote, “We purchased some land from the old Solite operation.”
Quinn Robinson told supervisors, “These are wonderful new facilities but in the last few meetings I have had a hard time hearing.”
He reminded the board how important it is for the community and the recorder to have an audible record. “Because every word you speak, every ordinance you enact becomes part of Buckingham's history and we don't want to lose any of that,” shared Robinson.
Moving on to his second concern, Robinson said he felt the new technology in the auditorium was creating problems. “Votes are being cast before there's discussion,” he stated.
Noting that he felt Robert's Rules of Order are the gold standard, he stated, “They are awkward but they are fair to everybody.” Adding that the rules were complex in many parts, he added, “But the basics are pretty simple.”
Robinson continued, “I would ask that members of the board give Chairman Snoddy the support and cooperation that he needs to run the meetings.”
He requested that even though the monitors show the results of the voting, supervisors raise their hands in conjunction with their voting.
Offering that the current situation makes the meetings more difficult to follow, Robinson stated, “I'm all for public participation.” He concluded, “I thank all of you for your good work.”
Introducing herself as the chair of the board for Buckingham Active Seniors, Ann Mills LeSueur shared that the organization was in support of the letter sent to supervisors by Kristen Queen, assistant director of the county's recreation department, requesting additional funding in the amount of up to $10,000 for the county's continued support for the organization.
She offered that since its inception, the BAS membership has doubled and now stands at over 150 members.
“This should be an indication of how much we have grown and how successful we are in providing a much needed outlet for the seniors in our county,” stated LeSueur.
[The county's proposed FY 14 budget does include $10,000 for Buckingham Active Seniors.]
Following an update on the proposed upgrade to the county's 911 communications system, the board unanimously agreed to enter into a contract with Professional Communications for the implementation of the project.
The action also included authorization to enter into a contract with Kyanite Mining for the installation of a repeater antenna for the system on its property.
According to Jamie Shumaker, the county's information technology director, the upgrade will include similar equipment at Alpha, Spears Mountain, and Route 655 near Midway Market, to enhance communications coverage throughout the county.
“For the first time ever, ever-ever, we have received an excellent inspection report at our animal control facility,” prided Carter.
“I would like to commend Danny Shumaker and Maurice Jones for that,” she stated, noting that the inspection covers all aspects of the animal control responsibilities including transporting, treatment and care of animals; and the conditions and operation of the facility.
Acknowledging the difficulty in achieving an inspection report on an animal control facility without any negative findings, Supervisor Talbert asked that the county administrator pass along the board's appreciation to Shumaker and Jones for their efforts.
Carter offered more good news as she shared a letter from the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.
In the letter, the Virginia Soil and Water Conservation Board commended the county for “successfully implementing the county's Erosion and Sediment Control program to be fully consistent with the requirements of the Virginia Erosion and Sediment Control Law and Regulations, thereby providing better protection for Virginia's soil and water resources.”
In turn, Carter offered, “I would like to commend Rebecca Cobb (zoning administrator and planner) for that.”
During her report, Carter explained that she recently received a funding request from the Buckingham County Rescue Squad. Noting the request was not received prior to the board's work session, Carter said she was trying to set up a meeting with BCVRS representatives to discuss the possibility of carrying-over funding from last year.
With a unanimous vote, supervisors authorized Todd Shumaker, Director of Buckingham County Recreation, to proceed with the bidding process for Phase II of the on-going planned expansion of Gene Dixon Memorial Ballpark.
According to information included in the board packet, Phase II will include the construction of a large baseball/softball field and expansion of the parking area.
Supervisor Joe Chambers nominated Freeman Harris to serve on the Buckingham County Board of Zoning Appeals. The nomination, which drew the board's full support, will be forwarded to the Circuit Court Judge who makes the appointment.
Supervisors agreed to a request from the Scottsville Volunteer Rescue Squad to extend the privilege of providing a county decal, which active volunteers with the county's fire departments and rescue squad receive, to two Buckingham residents who are active volunteers with Scottsville.
After the board completed its agenda, Chambers moved that Friday, July 5, be included as a day-off in conjunction with the July 4 holiday for county employees. Following a second by Talbert, the motion drew the board's unanimous support.